Tuck someone in today

Posted by  | Patient-Centered Care

One of my colleagues, Nancy, recently shared a surprising experience that she had with her son—one of four children—as she was getting ready to send him off to college. The night before he left, this strapping, six-foot-tall man, who plays football and lacrosse, made an unusual request: He asked his mom to tuck him in to bed. When he(...)

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Is this health care’s “man on the moon” moment?

Posted by  | Preventing Patient Harm

For the past four years, Johns Hopkins patient safety researchers and our partners across the country have been working on an ambitious effort to reduce central line-associated bloodstream infections. The project spanned 44 states and included 1,100 intensive care units. On Monday, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, who funded this project, released the preliminary(...)

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Big news today from the Armstrong Institute

Posted by  | Designing Safer Systems, Patient-Centered Care, Preventing Patient Harm

We’re pleased to announce that the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation has awarded Johns Hopkins’ Armstrong Institute a grant of $8.9 million to design safer care in ICUs. This project will have two overriding aims: to better engage patients—and their family members—as integral parts of the care team; and to use systems engineering methods to(...)

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Putting a little Ritz in health care

Posted by  | Organizational and Cultural Change, Patient-Centered Care

Recently, I had an enlightening encounter with Horst Schulze, who led Ritz-Carlton Hotels to national awards and has since opened his own hotel chain, Capella. Hortz gave an informal presentation to members of a program that I’m taking part in, the Baldrige Executive Fellowship, and we continued to talk afterwards. Capella has five ultraluxury hotels(...)

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What health care can learn from corn milling

Posted by  | Organizational and Cultural Change, Preventing Patient Harm

Some of the best ideas for improving health care come from outside our field. For example, we’ve adapted cockpit-style checklists from aviation to improve teamwork and communication on our clinical teams. We’ve turned to performance improvement methods from manufacturing to reduce waste and defects in care delivery. A recent experience reminded of the value of seeking(...)

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Company churns out burritos, French toast — and inspiration for health care

Posted by  | Patient-Centered Care, Preventing Patient Harm

This year I am participating in an executive fellowship that is designed to expose leaders in various industries to the Baldrige Framework, a model for organizational excellence. As part of the program, the fellows visit companies that received the coveted Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, administered by the U.S. Department of Commerce. Recently, we toured(...)

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Coming home

Posted by  | Preventing Patient Harm

Last week, my family returned from a vacation in Jamaica. The kids had spring break and it was great to get away with them. Upon returning to the U.S. and after clearing passport control, the customs agent said “welcome home.” No doubt they are trained to say this; I hear it every time I travel(...)

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Dreaming the dream

Posted by  | Preventing Patient Harm

The video of Susan Boyle’s debut on Britain’s Got Talent is well worth watching. She walked on stage, wearing a frumpy dress, overweight and awkward. Members of the audience snickered and rolled their eyes as this 47-year-old told the judges that she wanted to be a singing star. I suspect she had her own doubts. Yet(...)

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